Reading nooks are a great place in the house to unwind with your favorite book or even take an unscheduled nap under a pile of cozy blankets. Many architectural reading nooks take advantage of natural light and big window views, but reading nooks can be created anywhere in your home. DIY touches can add a personal touch to reading nooks and can help make them one of the most sought-out havens in the house. Here you’ll find a list of 15 of the best DIY reading nook projects you can use to add comfort and style to your favorite relaxation spot.
DIY Projects for Finishing a Reading Nook
1. Install a Bay Window for a Nook With a View
When reading nooks and alcoves are pre-built into a house, they’re usually situated beneath a window with good natural lighting. This makes it easier for people to read in the nook during the day without having to rely on lamps. The easy-to-follow DIY bay window installation from 33rd Square is a great way to add views of the outdoors and natural lighting to a reading nook area.
2. Add an Art Display as an Interesting Focal Point
Adding an art display or an art gallery to a reading nook is a great way to create a beautiful focal point for the space. Keeping artwork in the same color scheme or motif can help bring the nook together. Choosing the art for a reading nook is a great way to put your personal stamp on the space. Check out this DIY wall art from Home Talk for a quick way to add pizzazz to a bare wall in your nook.
3. Build a Hanging Chair
Hanging chairs such as teardrop wicker chairs or birdcage chairs are a popular addition to reading nooks in interior design schemes because their gentle swaying is a relaxing counterpart to reading and lounging activities. Hammock chairs are an easy DIY version of a hanging chair you can create for your nook. This DIY hammock chair from A Beautiful Mess can be crafted in a wide variety of fabrics to match any reading nook space.
4. Put in a Window Bench for Sophisticated Seating
Window benches are a popular way of putting in seating when you design a reading nook or alcove because they can easily be added to existing window structures. They’re also a good option when you want to make a reading nook that is large enough for more than one person. Making a window bench requires a little bit of carpentry skill, but it’s well worth the end result. This DIY window bench seat from Jenna Design Co. is a great way to add a spot to sit down with a book.
5. Make a DIY Bean Bag Chair for Added Comfort
Reading nooks are a great place for reading, but many homeowners also want a reading nook where they can relax or maybe even take a catnap. Oversized bean bag chairs are a fun way to add seating to a nook area that can be easily moved around to add seating elsewhere in the house if needed, and they’re comfortable enough to rest or nap on. This DIY giant bean bag from the Hungarican Journey can make any reading nook the coziest place in the house.
6. Papasan Chairs Can Make Your Nook a Nest
Papasan chairs are a low-set type of round wicker chair that can act as a soft seating point for reading nooks. Many papasans are even comfortable enough to sleep in. Sewing your own DIY papasan cushion covers allows you to match your papasan reading nook to the rest of the room. Make these papasan chair covers from The Happy Housie to add your own personal touch to your reading nook chair.
7. Include a Bookshelf for Storage
You might not have enough books to make for a full home library, but adding at least some shelving space to your reading nook can help draw people in to sit and read there. Depending on what materials are used and how the books are displayed, creating some DIY bookshelves can be a focal point of the reading nook all on their own. This DIY crate bookshelf from Tara Michelle Interiors is a good way to store books in your nook without giving it a cluttered look.
8. Try Making a Closet into a Reading Nook
If you don’t have any good window spaces or alcoves to place a reading nook, you can always use a space closet instead. With the right decorations and some strong artificial lighting, any spare closet can become a quiet space to read and relax. A reading nook doesn’t require a large area like a walk-in closet, either. This closet-turned-reading-nook by BRepurposed is an elegant solution to a lack of space for reading elsewhere.
9. Add Hanging Plants for a Natural Vibe
Hanging plants and potted houseplants are popular additions to reading nook areas since they can add a pop of relaxing greenery to the space. Hanging plants are a good option since they keep the floor around the reading are from getting cluttered, but either use low-light plants or install full-spectrum lighting so the plants get the light exposure they need to thrive. Check out this DIY macrame planter by Jenny Lemons for a quick way to put together some containers to hang houseplants in your nook.
10. Craft Some Candles for Ambiance
Burning a candle or two while you sit back with a nice book in your reading nook is one of the unsung pleasures of the world, but you can get even more satisfaction from it if you make the candles yourself. Different colored waxes and a wide variety of essential oils let you customize candles to your preference. These scented DIY candles from Thrillist are a great way to add warmth and fragrance to any home library or nook. Just be sure to keep open flames away from your books!
11. Convert an Open Staircase
An open staircase can seem like a waste of space if it’s left empty, and it can look cluttered if it’s used for miscellaneous storage. Instead, try covering an open staircase into a DIY reading nook to make the most of the space under the stairs and add functionality to the room. This DIY staircase reading nook from Julie Blanner is the perfect method for adding reading space to a house if there isn’t window space available.
12. Add Accent Pillows for a Pop of Color
Accent pillows are a good way to add a pop of color to reading nooks with more neutral color palettes. For darker spaces, light-colored pillows can help create an impression of a bigger reading nook. Extra pillows are also a good idea just for lounging purposes. These easy DIY throw pillows from The Turquoise Home can be customized for any reading nook design and are simple enough even for beginning crafters to put together.
13. Crochet an Afghan for Comfort and Warmth
Soft handmade blankets are another way you can add design and color to your reading nook space. Crocheted afghans may take some time to construct, but the end result of this DIY project may end up passed down as a family heirloom for decades. You can even crochet throw pillows or cushion covers to match if you’re feeling ambitious. Check out this granny square afghan tutorial from Haak Maar Raak to get an idea of how to put together an easy afghan blanket for your reading nook.
14. Construct a DIY Pendant Lamp for Reading After Dark
Since many people don’t have time during the day to rest and read until the evening, making sure that reading nooks have good artificial lighting is essential. This DIY origami paper lampshade from A Piece of Rainbow can add visual interest and style to your reading nook while also giving you enough ambient light for reading and relaxing after the sun goes down.
15. Incorporate a Rug to Make the Nook Quiet
Adding sound-dampening elements like floor rugs and thick drapery can help muffle some of the noise from the rest of the home since reading nooks are usually adjacent to louder parts of the house. DIY rugs are a fun crafting project and can be adapted to almost any space by changing up the color and material used. This fuzzy cotton piping DIY rug tutorial from Paper n Stitch is a great way to bring in some softness and noise reduction for your reading area.
Reading nooks and alcoves add tranquility while also giving your books a dedicated place to reside in the house if you don’t have a home library. The design aesthetics of household DIY reading nooks projects are just as diverse as the people who live and read in them. These useful spaces can be tailored for either children or adults and fit in well with a wide variety of interior design plans. The DIY ideas above can serve as a great jumping-off point for making your reading nook the most stylish sanctuary in your home.